It is the time of year when MLB gets silly with a goofy archaic rule, a rule that even Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn’t like.
On September 1 major league teams are permitted to expand their rosters from 25 to as many as 40. Most teams call up from four to eight players from their minor league system.
Manager Bryan Price says the Cincinnati Reds most likely will add a few good men right away and then call up a few more later on.
Does this make sense? Not to a baseball purist.
FOR THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS of the season teams play with 25-man rosters. Then in the final month, when division titles and wild card spots are on the line, they change the game.
It is a good rule for teams like Cincinnati and Milwaukee and Atlanta, teams wallowing in despair. They can call up young players to get them major league experience, see who can and who can’t play at the major league level.
But is that fair to contending teams with something on the line? No, it isn’t. As Maddon says, “It changes the game. A team can use more pitchers, bring in a left hander to face one left handed batter, and then change pitchers again with no fear of running out of pitching. And it gives teams more pinch-hitters without fear of running out in extra inning games. I’d like to see them do away with it.”
So would I, Joe, so would I.
A COUPLE MORE REASONS why the Cincinnati Reds are where they are, notwithstanding their rebuilding excuse.
When Tim Adleman gave up two runs in the first inning of Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, it pushed the Reds total of giving up runs in the first inning to 100, most in the major leagues.
And when Adleman gave up two home runs to C.J. Cron, after the Reds gave up five home runs to the Angels on Monday, it raised the total to 214 home runs given up this year by Reds pitchers.
The National League record is the 239 home run given up by the Colorado Rockies in 2001, which came before they put the baseballs in a humidor before they are used in Coors Field. The major league record is the 241 given up by the 1996 Detroit Tigers.
With a month left in the season the Reds have positioned themselves nicely into setting a dubious record.
They’ve already set one. They have given up five or more home runs in a game this year eight times, the most times in major league history.
DID YOU KNOW THAT the Cincinnati Reds were not only the first professional team, but they played the first major league night game, were the first major league team to travel by airplane and the first teams to trade Frank Robinson, Paul O’Neill and Johnny Cueto?
DID YOU KNOW THAT the Cleveland Indians played some Sunday home games in Dayton during the 1902-03 seasons? It was because of Cleveland’s Blue Law — no baseball on Sunday.
WE ALL KNOW ABOUT Nolan Ryan’ career strikeouts. But did you know he threw 277 wild pitches and walked 2,795 batters.
We ALL KNOW ABOUT Rickey Henderson’s career stolen base record. But did you know he was caught stealing 335 times.
WE ALL KNOW ABOUT Pete Rose’s 4,256 hits. But did you know he owns the all-time record for making the most outs — 10,328?